Okay, so basically Fett first appeared in a cartoon thing which was largely considered the only good part of an otherwise sucky made-for-TV Star Wars special. He was played up in publicity for TESB, but ended up with mostly a bit part. In the novelization he gets described as notorious, a superlative not granted to the other bounty hunters like Zuckuss, Dengar, or IG-88. And, his armor is said to have come from a group of evil warriors the Jedi defeated during the Clone Wars. From all this he got a following as the mysterious fellow who Vader and Jabba seemed to trust to get the job done and who could make an Imperial admiral shudder.wait, can some clarify why there's such a sudden black lash on Lucas? what did he do regarding karen traviss and the Mandalorians? what happened with Fett? did Lucas just arbitrarily declare "as far as I'm concerned he died in the sarlac" and just suddenly invalidate twenty five years of seriously major plot points?
basically can I has clarification?
In a world of good versus evil, the mysterious Fett's apparent anti-Jedi history, and his ruthlessness, mixed with his seeming helpfulness in the cartoon, caused him to become the catch-all canvas.
But the truth is, he was simply the only significant human fighting character from the original trilogy days who wasn't really involved in the Jedi/Sith stuff.
So, he was generally portrayed as the renegade bounty hunter who lived by his own code and couldn't be moved or bought by either side. Which is really goofy, because he was always working for the badguys.
So anyway, Fett's popularity led to various attempts to write about him in the EU, leading to various continuity problems even before the prequels. They even managed to find a couple of different ways to extract him from the Sarlacc and let his adventures continue. Even Lucas, not oblivious to Fett's popularity, spoke of him when the Special Editions were coming out:
"I don't know why. [Laughs] I'm mystified by it. He is, he's a, I mean I think he's a, he's a mysterious character, he's a provocative character. He seems like an all powerful character, except he gets killed. Although he's gotten killed, the people who write the books, and everybody else, the comics, are all 'We cant kill him, we gotta bring him back!', you know, 'He can't die! We refuse to let him die!'"
- George Lucas, Flannelled One, 1997 - MTV interview as reposted in Boba Fett Fan Club site FAQ
"Lucas reconsidered going back and glamorizing the death of bounty hunter Boba Fett, a secondary character who became a cult favorite. He considered ”having Boba Fett survive and crawl out of the” mouth of the sand creature in Jedi. ”But that doesn't quite fit in the end.”"
- George Lucas, Flannelled One, Sept. 2004, USA Today interview with Mike Snider
"In the case of Boba Fett's death, had I known he was gonna turn into such a popular character, I probably would've made it a little bit more exciting.
Boba Fett was just another one of the minions, another one of the bounty hunters and badguys. But, he became such a favorite of everybody's that, for having such a small part, uh he had a very large presence. And now that his history has been told in the first trilogy, y'know, it makes it even more of a misstep that we wouldn't make more out of the event of his defeat, because most people don't believe he died anyway.
I'd contemplated putting in that extra shot in where he climbs out of the hole, but y'know I figure that's . . . it doesn't quite fit, in the end."
- George Lucas, Flannelled One, Sept. 2004, RoTJ DVD audio commentary (33:01)
And, of course, Fett was included in the prequels:
"Q: I'm excited that Boba Fett is going to be in Episode II. Are we going to get more details about how he was once Jaster Mereel and killed another Journeyman Protector on the planet Concord Dawn before becoming a bounty hunter?
A: Highly unlikely.
My advice: Forget everything you knew, or thought you knew about the origins of Boba Fett. While none of us have seen a script of Episode II or have an idea of the direction in which George Lucas is taking the character, it's fairly safe to say that he won't be held to any of the back stories that have arisen over the years to try to explain the roots of this strong, mostly silent type. If there is any hint of Fett's beginnings, it will be all George.
At the same time, what you've read to this point was probably misinformation anyhow. A bounty hunter like Boba Fett has much to gain by having numerous myths of his origin in circulation among potential employers and potential victims. That is why the Star Wars Encyclopedia states: ”Many tales are told of his background and exploits, but there are very few verifiable facts, perhaps by design.”
Fett's short career as a law enforcement officer on Concord Dawn, and his perhaps-unjust downfall, was first told in Tales of the Bounty Hunters. Dark Empire II speculates that he was formerly a stormtrooper who killed his commanding officer. The Marvel Comics series has Fett as an ex-Mandalorian commando, a veteran of the Clone Wars alongside Fenn Shysa and Tobbi Dala. Marvel even went as far as showing the lush jungles of the planet Mandalore.
As many fans know, when it comes to Star Wars knowledge, there are degrees of ”canon.” The only true canon are the films themselves. For years, Lucas Books has stayed clear of characters, events, or the timeframe that George might want to deal with in the Star Wars prequels. While such things as the Clone Wars, the fall of the Jedi, and Palpatine's rise to power were on that list, Boba Fett wasn't considered to be of major concern.
But like any great storyteller, George starts to develop a script and it sometimes takes on a life of its own, with characters coming to life and demanding a say. He has told us that Boba Fett will have a role in Episode II--just as Fett first appeared in the second film of the classic trilogy--so we may finally learn the bounty hunter's true genesis. As for whether Fett really survived his descent into the cavernous maw of the Sarlacc in Return of the Jedi...what do you think?"
- Steve Sansweet, LFL/Fan Relations, April 2000 - "Are we going to get more details about Boba Fett's past?", StarWars.com
That Marvel note above is the crux of the matter. By showing Mandalore, other ideas followed, and when eventually Karen Traviss came upon the scene she adopted the Mandalorians as her own, gave them a language, and worked to fully flesh out their planet and to play them up as a sort of third way between Jedi and Sith, with their own sense of honor and warrior ethic. And this resonated with many readers, who ate up her books and the unique Mando perspective on things.
(Meanwhile, of course, SDN types hate her since (a) they find her minimalist and (b) don't like her popularity . . . they are generally the type for whom success illicits loathing anyway. Thus a few of them hounded her online at any venue where she might be, leading to her description of them as "Talifans" ... the terrorists of the entertainment world who want authors to write things just their way and not for the rest of the fans or the authors or creators themselves.)
And then, to borrow from here, Lucas walked in and smacked down the jungle planet with farms idea and turned it into icy CubeWorld.
Having invested so much time and effort into fleshing out her Mandalorian ideas, Traviss was shocked that they were so easily ignored. After all, wasn't there continuity for such things? Well, yes, but only in Licensing's proverbial head . . . Lucas didn't care about their continuity, just his, and the two are distinct no matter how much retconning the EU attempts.
And thus, Mandalore became CubeWorld.
Traviss was suitably non-plussed:
"I've been receiving mail from Star Wars fans who have bought the new visual guide to the second season of the Clone Wars TV cartoon, and have been perplexed by detail in it. They've noticed changes in canon. They're mailing me to ask what's going on because it appears to affect areas that my novels deal with. I admit I didn't know there was a guide coming out this early, let alone what would be revealed in it. But now that it has, and you're asking me what's happened, it would be naive to stall you when you have the book in front in you, and pretty rude to ignore you.
I can't discuss the canon issues because of the standard non-disclosure agreement that all writers sign. I'm not even going to discuss the ones that are public now, and I know little of the full detail anyway. So please don't ask me. All I can say is that I was given enough of the detail in January to realise that changes in continuity were such that I wouldn't be able to carry on as originally planned with the storylines you were expecting to see continued in my books. It would have required a lot more than routine retcon.
The only solution I could think of that could accommodate the changes was a complete reboot, and I seriously considered doing that. But starting over, when I had so many other books on my plate? The knock-on effect on my other work was a problem, because most of my income doesn't come from Star Wars. And then there was the risk of alienating readers. Pulling the rug from under them after so many books - that wouldn't go down well, and "I was only following orders" doesn't appease anybody these days.
The canon is beyond my control, because that's the very nature of tie-in work. But that still left me with some personal choices I had to make. I could try to make the massive retcons. Or I could switch to different SW books that weren't affected by these changes. Or I could decide to call it a day - I had a great run, but I had an increasing amount of non-SW work to get on with that was more important to my business.
In the end, the only rational decision I could take was to make Imperial Commando #2 my last book for Star Wars. I'm sorry I had to do that [...] "
This led to some hissy-fits amongst Traviss/Mando fans.
So basically, Lucas garners hatred from EU-philes any time he tramples the EU. And in this case, he gets it from both sides, since of course the EU-philes who enjoy Traviss have lost her as a result of his TCW choices, and the Talifan EU-philes still have to watch their EU shafted at every Mandalorian turn, be it Fett or whatever.
And meanwhile, some dislike what he did with the Special Editions (Han shot first!), the rather clunky characterizations in the prequels, and so on.
But in any event, with success breeding contempt, Lucas is an easy target.